Well, we don't usually do this, but seeing as how Van Dyke Parks is a living legend and his Portland show is at Mississippi Studios on Wednesday (inconveniently, the same day WW comes out), we decided to run an extended Q&A with him a couple days before the article hit the racks. Enjoy! -Ed.
A live appearance by Van Dyke Parks seems almost like an apparition. Will this be your first visit to Portland?
What is it about Clare Muldaur's music that inspired you to join her for your first-ever tour?
As was Fritz Richmond, who was a Portland resident for much of his life.
And I assume you'll be bringing a huge entourage and ensemble along? [joking]
So, will you be performing some solo, and some accompanied by The Reasons?
You've worked with several "second generation" artists. I like to call them the "folk brats."
But what about working with the kids of your old cohort, like Inara George and Rufus Wainwright?
Do you think it's nature, nurture, or nepotism that's gotten them this far in the music world?
Condolences on the passing of Rufus' mother, whom I believe you knew.
It's interesting to me that Rufus' most Loudon-esque song, in terms of drawing from personal experience, is his song about his father, "Dinner at Eight", that is most identifiably autobiographical.
Well, Portland is about nothing if not hip cachet, which you have in spades, sir.
I wanted to ask you, in fact, about the effects of new technologies, considering your history with being ahead of the game when it came to videos being used to bolster music, or being another way of communicating for musicians. You sort of foresaw that whole trend, though I don't know if you foresaw the huge impact it would have.
And if anything, it comes out of their bottom line.
Did you foresee the impact of the internet on the music business?
Can you tell me about your extensive arranging work on Joanna Newsom's album, Ys? Were you familiar with her work prior to that project?
What's that artist's name?
Van Dyke Parks plays Mississippi Studios on Wednesday.